4th of July 2016

Posted by Amy O. , Friday, August 26, 2016 4:16 PM

This was our first July in Sacramento, so naturally our first 4th of July (or "four-cha-ly" as Vianne calls it) here, too.  I was a bit bummed to find out that Natomas doesn't do anything special for the day; as it's part of Sacramento, it assumes (I guess?) that its residents all go to Tahoe or want to cram in a stadium with thousands of other people.  This small town girl does/wants neither.  

But there's a city north of here, Woodland, where we shop at Costco so are somewhat familiar with, that reportedly had some festive goings-on, and when I awoke on the 4th feeling particularly Canby-Days-sick, I decided to hop in the car with the kids and head up there.  They'd been up since the crack of dawn & by some ungodly hour like 7:00 a.m., we'd already gotten our outfits on & read all our holiday books & even searched Amazon & Netflix for some kind of holiday-appropriate show (to no avail). 

So we left for Woodland's bike parade with plenty of time to navigate anticipated traffic & parking issues.  The parade was on Main St., so when I got to Main St., I kept driving down waiting for a blockade to appear, to run into a detour and see crowds gathered.  But none of these arose.  There was one block where there were 10 or so folks milling about, so I turned off on a side street where there was one other car parked and we walked down to where we'd seen the small gathering.  Within a few minutes, a group of patriotic bikers emerged from a plaza, and by this point maybe 25 people had gathered to watch.

Don't get me wrong: it was adorable. It just was also a bit laughable, thinking I was going to have trouble parking & may be stuck in leaving traffic for an hour.  Apparently when you do a bike parade in some towns, it means just bikes, not the other parade elements, and the parents are all walking alongside the bikes, therefore this doesn't leave a lot of folks to watch the parade, just a few willing grandparents and any Canby transplants desperate for small-town charm.

So the bikers headed a few blocks down to a park, where the fun really started.  There was a gazebo with a band playing Americana music, there were bouncy houses and a playground and free snow cones and games and crafts.  And I tell ya, this Mama was SOLD.  It was awesome.  The kids were thrilled and my heart was filled with small-town joy.  Maybe the best part was that the large crowd of locals only stayed for about a half four, so by about 10:45 (the parade had started at 10:00) all the activities were going strong but there were only about 30 people milling about.  So we got snow cones (there had previously been a huge line) and made crafts and Vianne got the princess bouncy house to herself for like 15 minutes.  

Anyway, hooray, Woodland, CA!  You made this Mama's 4th of July morning.

 Back at home, we got ready for our family evening BBQ...
Afternoon amusements: red, white & blue M&Ms
 Spray ball

 beach balls
 (how cute are they?)
 and patriotic selfies



 Then we fired up the grill

 and waited for the burgers to cook
 then sat down for a perfect picnic (Vianne gives it a thumbs up!)

 MMMMM...all the essentials!

 I had been wanting to make an English trifle for a long time so thought I'd try one out for an ironic twist for the 4th (and while berries

Family approved!

Testing out the firework-watching bench
Vianne's first sparkler!
Fun with the camping lantern while waiting for it to get dark...

To round out the day, Daddy put on our own little fireworks show!

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